What is an ecstasy?

What does “being in ecstasy” mean? I’ve read about this expression in reference to saints but was wondering if anyone can be in ecstasy.

The Catholic Encyclopedia defines that an ecstasy is a state in which interiorly a person’s mind is focused on a religious object and exteriorly his senses are suspended so that, generally speaking, he cannot be roused from the state until it passes.

An ecstasy is a supernatural gift that occasionally occurs to a person immersed in contemplative prayer. As it is a gift, it can be given to anyone; but someone who suspects that he may have experienced an ecstasy should consider discussing the experience with a balanced, orthodox spiritual director for help with proper discernment.

**Recommended reading:

The Danger of Centering Prayer** by Fr. John D. Dreher
Seeking Spiritual Direction by Fr. Thomas Dubay

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